Beyond the Notes: An interview with Elvina Pearce

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Elvina Pearce studied piano with Isabelle Vengerova and pedagogy with Frances Clark. For more than six decades, she has presented recitals, workshops, and master classes in more than forty states as well as in Canada, the Republic of China, and Australia. Highlights of her pianistic career include recitals in Taipei, Taiwan, and Perth, Australia, a...
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What Do We Do When Our Students Forget?

At my house, it takes a ladder to reach Richard Chronister's book, A Piano Teacher's Legacy. It is on the top shelf of the floor-to-ceiling bookcase next to my grand piano. This seems like the perfect resting place for it, because I always did put Richard on a high pedestal. I still do.  This fall I began my forty-fourth year of teaching. My s...
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Recitals -- When can I play?

Richard Chronister loved a good intellectual disagreement. I often think he founded the National Conference on Piano Pedagogy just so he could wander from room to room and listen to teachers fight. He also challenged the column editors of his magazine, Keyboard Companion, to risk poking a few holes in tried and true views. Whenever this column gene...
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Independence Day: Music Reading

Richard Chronister is executive director of The National Conference on Piano Pedagogy, president and educational director of National Keyboard Arts Associates, and editor of Keyboard Companion magazine. He has been active in developing piano teaching materials and piano teacher training programs for more than thirty years. He is known thr...
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How Can We Find Out More About Our Students' Home Practice? Part II

by Elvina Pearce  Evaluating a student's home practice is getting a lot of attention these days. In KEYBOARD COMPANION's most recent issue, we reported on a project at North Central College in Naperville, Illinois, that was designed to help their teachers find out more about their students' independent learning skills. At the 1994 meeting...
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The Editor's Page

 The irresistible dude pictured on the front cover of this issue of KEYBOARD COMPANION is ready for fall lessons to begin!  This could be his first lesson—either his seat hasn't hit the bench yet, or his exuberant playing has taken him momentarily into the air. Maybe he has just finished his first performance of the season, usin...
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How Do You Prepare Students for the Reading Traps in a Piece?

Whenever we hear a new piece of teaching music that attracts our attention, and think of exactly the student who will enjoy playing it, we are apt to wonder if it has one or more of those traps that have cost us countless, precious minutes in the middle of a lesson. What really counts, if it truly is a great piece of music, is our attitude toward t...
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How Do You Teach Students to Plan Fingering?

The subject of fingering may be one of the most neglected aspects of reading. I suspect we might all be surprised if we really knew how much fingering affects the student's ability to read. And, we might all be surprised at how many things about fingering we take for granted, sort of in the same way that we assume everyone knows that to the right i...
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When Choosing an Elementary Method, What Do You Look For in the Area of Note Reading?

One of our writers says, "Our country must lead the world in proliferation of elementary method books." Some teachers swear by their favorite method and have been teaching it for years. Others try every new method that comes on the market, always looking for something new and different. Some teachers feel that different children require different a...
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How Do You Teach Fluent Rhythm Reading?

When piano teachers talk about music reading, we tend to think only of note reading. In fact, the questions we have posed for this department of KEYBOARD COMPANION have concentrated on just that one aspect of reading. Likewise, students seem to give note reading first priority when they sightplay new music. If they can't find the next note quickly ...
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How Do You Teach Students to Read Who Already Play by Ear?

from the series: Independence Day: Music Reading We've all heard, countless times, "Would you play it for me?" after a student has spent a week with a new piece without satisfactory success. If we know the student well, our response will be based on knowing why this request has been made. If we know that our performance can be the motivation f...
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How Do You Teach Fluent Chord Reading?

Countless times, teachers hear something similar to "I don't want Johnny to be a concert pianist, I just want him to be able to play hymns." Usually, we take the time to explain that hymn playing-or any chord reading for both hands together-represents one of the hardest kinds of reading any student has to learn to do. Regardless,&nbs...
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The Editor's Page

Ermine Todd, who appears on the cover of this issue, dreams about playing the piano like his mommy. Preparation for making his dream come true includes moving- dancing?- around the room while he listens to her play such things as the Bach Preludes. The picture on this issue's cover was taken a few hours after one of those experi...
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Do you teach sightplaying from the very first lesson?

When children begin to learn to read word s, it is assumed that the goal is sight reading-the ability to say the word a split second after seeing it-and that this goal will be reached rather quickly. And furthermore, it is assumed that the ability to sightread a string of words which make a sentence will follow close behind. If this were not t...
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The Editor's Page

Joy Carden is a piano teacher who believes that embracing life's surprises makes us able to do things we never dreamed we could do, or even more important, introduces us to things we have yet to even dream about. Like many of us, she taught her first piano lessons when she was still in high school–a neighbor insisted she teach her young twins....
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The Editor's Page

On the eve of my departure for Princeton to participate in the filming of the new videos, Conversations with Frances Clark, I attended a dinner in Los Angeles honoring the distinguished composer, author, and editor, Willard Palmer, which was hosted by Morton Manus, president of the Alfred Publishing Company . During an evening filled...
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The Editor's Page

 The fascinating art work on the cover of this issue is by artist Amy Stewart who lives in Dallas, Texas. This Escher-inspired design involving the treble and bass clefs came naturally to Amy, the daughter of former piano teacher Mary Ann Stewart who is now the owner of Music in Motion, a music education and gift catalog familiar to many KEYBO...
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Independence Day: Music Reading

How Do You Teach Your Students Not to Back Up and Start Over? by: Richard Chronister Our question for this issue is not worded very delicately, but none of us has a very delicate feeling when a student-for the 999th time-quits playing a few measures into a piece, looks up at us sheepishly, and says, "May I start over?" The obvious answer might be, ...
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What Are Your Main Concerns About Your Students' Home Practice? Part II

From the series The Other Teacher: Home Practice by Elvina Pearce with other KEYBOARD COMPANION Associate Editors In the Summer, 1992, issue, the question addressed in our Home Practice Department was, What are your main concerns about your students' home practice? The article began with a list of twenty-four items which were submitted by...
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The Editor's Page

Another new teaching year is upon us, and with it the observance of September as National Piano Month. We are pleased to join in this celebration of the importance of piano study and we are particularly grateful to the National Piano Foundation for permission to use the clever Peanuts cartoon logo you see on this issue's cover. At the bot...
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Piano Magazine is the leading resource for pianists, piano teachers, and piano enthusiasts. We bring you informative, interesting, and inspiring ideas on all aspects of piano teaching, learning, and performing. The official name of Clavier Companion magazine was changed to Piano Magazine in 2019.

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